BackYard Chickens › Coop Designs › Trish's Waterer - Made From An Ordinary Milk Jug

Trish's Waterer - Made From An Ordinary Milk Jug

Hey everyone,  I'm Trish and I live in beautiful central NY with my husband and all our critters.  I've just started on this new BYC adventure on 3/31/09 with 6 golden comets purchased from TSC.  They really are like potato chips, can't have just one!  We're up to 22 and the flock consists of 6 RIR, a Turken, 3 Polish, 4 EE's, 1 BR, and 1 BO and the 6 original comets.

But while having all my beautiful, cute, fuzzy and very messy chicks in their brooder, I realized the water situation had to change.  It was grossing me out!  It didn't seem to matter how many bricks I put under it, the shavings would find their way in.  Then to make it worse, they would use it as a launching pad to get to the top of the brooder.  So, that meant poo was getting in there.  Well, that's all it took for me-something else needed to happen quick!  So, after checking out BYC and poultry supply houses and any other site out there that dealt with poultry, I came across the Avian Aqua Miser.  Loved it, but way too expensive, after studying the pics,  I decided to make this: 

A waterer made out of a milk jug, you could also use a plastic pitcher from the dollar store.   I remembered seeing the nipples at teksupply:

http://www.teksupply.com/farm/supplies/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&storeId=10001&productId=17665&langId=-1&division=TekSupply&pageId=ItemDetail&isDoc=N

Randall Burkey also has these, and check out ebay.

I became very excited about my new little project, so I went ahead and ordered my nipples & grommets and saved my milk jugs.  I figured if they didn't work, then I'd go to the dollar store for the pitchers.  That's all they used at the AAM site.  When my order came in, I grabbed my dh's drill and went to town, I used a 3/8 drill bit and drilled out my hole, I also reamed it out a bit, verrrry carefully.  You have to drill on a flat part of the jug, not the part where the bottom is crossed for reinforcement.  When I got the size correct, the grommet was pushed into the nipple-then the whole thing was pushed into the jug.  I wired it by the jug handle, filled it with fresh clean organic apple cider vinegar water, and voila-fresh clean water for my chickies!  I know eventually the nipple will rust-but being stainless steel, it'll be a while.

When the waterer was first introduced, the chicks were 5 weeks and 2 weeks.  I was a little nervous at first, they didn't know what to do-I had to introduce a couple of them to it by pushing the nipple with their beak.  It was funny, they looked so shellshocked!  They kind of stood there for a minute like, what the heck!  Then they started to use it, the rest of the chicks watched and soon followed suit.  I've had the waterers in operation for 3 weeks now and I love them!  Can't you tell! Wink  Ugh, so much less work and nastiness!  I hope this helps someone as much as it's helped me.   

Flat side of the jug-no leaks.

 

 

They had just finished using it-still no leaks! 

 

The dates on these pics are wrong, they were taken about 5/24/09-somewhere around there!

Update 9/5/09-I have recently found out that milk jugs do not last forever!!  I have had my chickens in their outdoor coop and I went out there one day and noticed a wet spot under their jug.  I felt the jug and it was soft and I saw where it had been leaking-where the nipple is in the jug.  I swapped out the jugs with plastic pitchers from the local Dollar Tree after I got out of work that day.   I drilled out holes on the bottom with a 11/32 drill bit, and with a bit of pushing, installed new nipples on the bottoms.  I swapped out the jugs with the pitchers, because I didn't want to worry about wet shavings/ammonia.  The pitchers are obviously a much heavier plastic and will definitely last.  I've no worries about these new waterers now! 

Here's my 3 month old pullets enjoying ice and acv water in their new pitchers!  

 

For the push in type use a 3/8 drill bit.

For the screw in type use an 11/32 drill bit.

 I've used both the screw ins and push ins at this point (4/20/2010) and the drill bit sizes are close to accurate, careful reaming and you're good to go! 

 

 

Comments (2)

Great idea! Waiting on my nipples for my waterers to come in! What do you do for dispensing food in an efficient neat manner?!
thank you for the pictures, great idea instead of buckets,
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